Congrats everyone, we’ve made it. We’ve weathered the rhetoric, photo-ops, talking points, campaign buses, and cliched hashtags, and we’re now only hours away from the 41st BC election.
If you’ve been following us, Daily Hive has been covering this campaign for a long, long time. Our election coverage planning started last summer, back when it was a two-party race and the result was largely predictable.
But, at this point, you might as well flip a coin. And even then, who knows? It could land on that third-side edge.
It’s a question we’ve been asked many times over the past few weeks. Are we going to join the likes of traditional media outlets and tell you who we think you should vote for, and why?
No. We’re not.
We work in different sectors. We live in different areas. We are in different stages of our lives. We are just, well, different.
And it’s that tapestry that makes different parties, leaders and/or candidates perhaps the right choice for each of us. (Leaving aside the obvious insert of the definition of democracy.)
To say “vote for X because they’re the best for all of us,” would at best be ignorant. Instead, each of us needs to look at the candidates and parties and try to figure out, at this point in your life, who best represents your interests.
If the answer is none. Then so be it. That’s your call. At least rally a few friends to cast their ballots. But, know this: your friends also likely struggle with the same douche vs. asshat conundrum that you do. None of them are likely 100% confident on the box they just made their mark in. They just decided that it’s their duty to make a call as to who they believe is best for their future.
If you approach Tuesday’s election in this way, whatever the result, every single one of us wins. And that’s all I want: for you to win.
And, while that’s challenging in a system that seems to incentivize parties to say almost anything in their four-year visions to gain your vote, since our “future” is better measured in decades than in election terms, so should be your vote tomorrow.
Firstly, because a lot of you read us – more than 1.2 million British Columbians, in fact – and we owe it to you to try to push for change.
But mainly it’s because our younger generation, my generation, needed someone to speak on behalf of all of us, to ask the questions that we needed answered, and hold our candidates and leaders accountable to a larger, longer-term vision for our province.
You might be told that young people don’t care about politics, that Millennials would rather stare at their phones than make informed decisions about their province’s future. But in our experience, that’s complete garbage.
Your vote matters, and you want your voice to be heard. Just look at the 44 people profiled in our “My Vote, My Future” series, if you don’t believe us.
In order to speak on your behalf, we opened our doors wide and listened. And boy, did a lot of you have a lot to say.
All told, more than 7,000 of you took the time to let us know how you feel (and we thank you!).
From that response, we learned that more than 90% of you plan to vote in this election, and that the issue that mattered, more than anything, to 50% of you was housing and affordability. More than 20% of you also told us you were concerned about jobs and the economy, 10% of you were worried about the environment, and 8% of you were concerned about transit and infrastructure, with the tech sector and rideshare not too far behind.
So this is what we covered. We ignored the politicking, the attack ads, and the brinkmanship, and instead focused on writing about the subjects that you cared about.
Since there’s a lot of information to sift through to try to figure out where you stand, we decided to make everyone’s life easier by creating “quick guides” to the issues. Articles you could read in a few minutes, on your commute, to figure out where each party sits on the issue. And, if you want to deep dive into any of those issues, we wrote “in detail” pieces on each one as well.
But what about the leaders?
Instead of shadowing them on the campaign trail or talking to them about the subjects that mattered to us, we sat down with each of them and asked them your questions.
In all, after countless hours committed to this election, I have come to the realization that my fellow young voters are tired of being ignored in the conversation and are becoming more politically engaged by the day. While they may appear to be disinterested in parties or candidates, the issues that affect them matter to them highly. And most importantly, they are immensely worried about their future.
So to all of you I say: here’s your chance to do something about it.
You can protest on the street, start Facebook groups, or make a hashtag go viral. But in the end, nothing is more effective than carving 15 minutes out of your day to go to your local voting location and cast your ballot.
To this day, voting remains the single most powerful way of having your voice heard.
And if you worry that your voice might not be heard, know this: young voters are the largest single demographic age group in our province. We also take the crown for the lowest voter turnout. We represent an enormous amount of untapped power that can push this election in any direction.
So, on Tuesday, May 9, I want you to go out and vote. Vote for the candidate, the issue, the party, or the leader you believe best represents you.
This is our future. Go do something about it.
To find more about all the issues, interviews with the BC party leaders, and plenty of opinions, check out our full BC Election coverage here: Battleground BC.